The Routine

I have made the outline for a 4 days a week routine. Wondering how (and if) to incorporate the other lifts named in the spreadsheet and what rep schemes to use. Also learning Olympic lifting so the routine incorporates some practice of these movements.

Workout Spreadsheet

My goals in order:

  1. To get to my strength goals (see bottom of Spreadsheet)
  2. Aesthetics (main goal after reaching strength goals) - arms, shoulder and chest lacking but focus will be on overall aesthetics
  3. Learn the Olympic lifts (least important)

About me:

  • Male, 26 y/o, 6ft, 90 kg, no injuries.
  • I have been lifting for about a year and a half, started on Stronglifts 5x5.
  • I am on a slow bulk and will cut once I reach strength goals.
  • Can you elaborate on your concerns? Training routines are very individual since they are specifically for your goals.
    – rrirower
    Feb 14, 2017 at 14:24
  • Hi there, in what sense? My main goal is to work out how the other lifts, in the second section of the spreadsheet, should fit around the main lifts and what rep schemes I should use. I want to first focus on hitting my strength targets, while increasing mass, then solely increase mass, and finally cut.
    – Serac
    Feb 14, 2017 at 14:48
  • There's no right or wrong way to structure your routine and rep schemes. Over time, you'll learn what works best for you.
    – rrirower
    Feb 14, 2017 at 14:53
  • Still it would be good to have some pointers of how to incorporates these for my stated goal
    – Serac
    Feb 14, 2017 at 15:26
  • @rrirower There are a lot of wrong ways to structure routines and rep schemes. A lot a lot. Feb 15, 2017 at 6:31

2 Answers 2


You have too many goals. Remove some of them. You can do them later. "Focusing" on strength, aesthetics, doing a bunch of exercises...just because? and introducing Olympic lifts is hard for any athlete, and is a bad idea for someone new to designing workout programs. Pick what's important. Do that. Do the other stuff later.

What you've proposed is essentially 5/3/1 Boring But Big. It's a known, successful version of your plan, plenty of people have done it and reported back, and it has built-in guidance on introducing assistance exercises like you want to. I would note that reports show it to be more on the bodybuilding side of "powerbuilding", and many folks seem to have lost strength using it.

It's impossible to say more until you provide more focus and information on what you've been doing and why it isn't working anymore.


Its a bit fluffy and open to interpretation of the rules of SE so I'll answer but reserve the right to suggest this may be off-topic as its highly personal. We also have very similar numbers but slightly different priority on goals because I only care about strength, perfecting Olympic lifts and conditioning.

You have pretty solid powerlifting goals and its clear your lower-half is much stronger than your upper body. Maintaining a slow-bulk should allow you to meet your stretch goals.

5x5 Stronglifts is good for those who don't squat and have tiny legs, I don't recommend it. You have a good base so I'd recommend you either change over to any of the following linear programes:

  1. Greyskull LP - A simple beginner's linear progression program. Phrak's variant is a commonly used implementation. A 3 day or A/B routine
  2. GZCLP - A linear progression template using powerlifter Cody LeFever's GZCL Method. 3 and 4 Day spreadsheets can be found here.
  3. 5/3/1 For Beginners - Jim Wendler's 5/3/1 program with some simple modifications to cater it more towards novice lifters. A 3 day routine.

Olympic Lifting: Get a coach. Trying to learn anything apart from power cleans by yourself it is so much slower, difficult, dangerous and can lead to poor technique in the long run. Olympic lifting gyms cost the same as regular ones and usually chuck in coaching for a little more. They won't give you programming but can definitely help. Maybe heck out a local crossfit gym as they often do Oly Lifting classes. Alternatively, find someone in your gym who does do the oly lifts and befriend them. You can workout together and help each other, not prefect, but cheaper. Oly lifting is super fun and challenging but I sincerely recommend you don't try to develop it alone.

Bodybuilding: Once you have hit your strength goals you should change programmes to a bodybuilding split. The focus on these is less about macro and meso cycles, 1RM's and meticulous planning and more about isolation and volume. This is when you put in your extra exercises on the spreadsheet.

Good Bodybuilding Programmes include:

  1. PPL
  2. PHUL
  3. PHAT

Footnote: Don't forget Abs! Get a Ab-roller, do hanging leg raises and weighted planks.

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